Posted in Anxiety

Facing Monsters: Anxiety

You, the one who always gives so much, but seldom gets back the same efforts in return.

The one always willing to help, to lend a hand or an ear, but you who suffers in silence and alone.

You, who tries to understand, but always is left behind feeling misunderstood.

You, the one who is so carefully looking for cues on how to behave, just so you can be accepted.

You, the one who feels socially awkward, and has become a loner, feeling that you don’t fit in.

You, who needs to learn about your own divine beauty and the gifts you have to offer. To protect your energy….

It’s ok to cancel a commitment. It’s ok to not answer a call. It’s ok to want to be alone. It’s ok to take a day off. It’s ok to do nothing. It’s ok to speak up. It’s ok to be yourself. It’s ok to be different. It’s ok to stand up for your beliefs. It’s ok to let go.

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Posted in Anxiety, Inspiration, Motivation,

Strong enough

“Be strong enough to stand alone.”

Don’t forget to listen to your heart, it already knows the path. Sometimes it is more important to risk and take a leap of faith, jumping into the unknown, vs. playing it safe, and spend a life wondering “what if”. Life has always found a way to work out how it is meant to be. Trust the process and believe.

Would you rather have loved and lost, or not loved at all? Would you put yourself last and lose who you are in order to please and accommodate others? Would you make excuses for your decisions and your personal needs, to not disappoint those around you? Do you feel it is necessary in order to be accepted?

These are some of the questions we face each day and the answers will vary from person to person. Perhaps there is no right or wrong, only a matter of preference, maturity and personal choice. I always try to remember this when meeting others and there is no “one fits all” type of approach. It allows us to respect and appreciate each other, even if our opinions and choices differ.

It might difficult to find the path at times and to muster the courage to hold our anxiety at bay. But no matter which route you choose, make sure that if you have to, you stay true to yourself, and….

“Be strong enough to stand alone”

Posted in Anxiety, Depression

January 11th

I can only write about this now that it is behind me and things are much better. I went back and forth, weighing the pros and cons, whether I wanted to post this or not, because I don’t like to bring things here that are not uplifting and inspiring. Reality is, life is not always candy and roses and sometimes we struggle with the seriousness of it. What swayed my final decision was the knowledge that depression and anxiety is real. It happens to the best of us, no matter how optimistic and positive we might be. It is something that needs to be shared to help others instead of leaving it in the shadows. It is something that needs to be addressed to let others know that they are not alone. I hope to accomplish this here.

After spending the last ten month in Germany caring for Mom, and recently returning back to the states, I realized how exhausted and weak I had become. Months of sitting by her bedside, struggling with the humidity and other things had left my body with minimal movement and exercise. It resulted in chronic pain of various levels that became a constant. On top of it, I got to experience the extreme pain of a cold shoulder which still affects me today. It’s awful and if you ever had to deal with it, you know that you can’t reach overhead, behind your back, or sleep on that shoulder. Trying to compensate, my entire neck and back region became stiff and one tight mess which robbed me of sleep. With minimal rest for several month, I eventually started my 22 hour journey back to the states. It was too much and my body started to give out. At one point while traveling I didn’t know if I would make it back without asking for help. I managed, drugged up and with the help of painkillers (Advil). It was a bandaid, to prolong the inevitable and just a days after my arrival, I could feel things happening. My legs were so tight, all the way from my calves up to the thighs, it felt like everything was on fire and inflamed. I couldn’t sit on the ground or kneel, and my knee was still hurting from the nasty fall that I took the week prior to my departure.

My health kept deteriorating, but I started to rest a little better in my own bed. I was in so much pain and everything was a struggle. The pain wasn’t just in one spot like it usually is and my entire body seemed to suffer. There was that unstable left ankle that felt as if I had twisted it at some point and it never got right again. It left me wobbly and unsure of my footing. There was the left wrist, which bone was sticking out in an unusual way caused from carrying too heavy bags visiting Mom and from carrying heavy grocery bags. There was the left knee that hurt from the fall and was very sore. Both shoulders were hurting by now and robbed me of sleep, which in turn rendered me unable to perform basic tasks. Not all yet, there were also my legs that felt on fire and there was a pain in my thighs every time I sat down. I just couldn’t get comfortable any which way. I couldn’t stand and walk, and I couldn’t sit and lay. It was misery spelled with capital letters. And finally there were the hands that were weak and couldn’t even hold a plate. I think several past I couldn’t comb my hair.

It kept building and it ate away at me. I became very worried and scared that this might be my new future. It couldn’t be, or could it? They say life isn’t fair, was this the moment that would convince me that this statement is true? Then there was the silence and worry, due to the iPad not working and not being able to talk to Mom. Although I had left Germany, I knew nothing was resolved. Mom was banking on me to get her out of the nursing home. This would mean to dissolve my own life of 30 years, clear and sell a house while I struggled to hold a plate. An immense burden and responsibility that crushed me underneath. Then there was this job issue and not earning any money. And how could I possibly earn any money feeling like this! I was overwhelmed to say the least.

The night into January 10th, I had to get up four times. It was a restless night that was trying and further ate away at me. January 11th, I was woken unexpectedly early and I was beyond sleep deprived. For once the pain allowed me to rest, but then it was something else that robbed me of it again. It was detrimental to me. Every waking hour was hardship and pain and the day started with tears in my eyes because I didn’t know how to put my socks on. My hands and fingers hurt so much it was nearly impossible. I cringed and eventually managed. I never recovered that day and at times I felt like I was having an out of body experience, seeing myself there, a pile of misery just wasting away. Over and over the tears would start and well up my eyes. I couldn’t listen to music, I couldn’t watch TV, I couldn’t do anything. I’m not sure I had a desire to live. With the pain worsening and not getting better, I felt helpless and for the first time I wasn’t so sure anymore that I would pull through all that was going on. Everything was hopeless and nothing mattered anymore. I was scared and found myself caught in a vicious cycle. I really think that I had an emotional breakdown. I wasn’t panicked and felt strangely calm. But I felt so empty and spent, like I had given it all and had no strengths left. All hope and faith I had, my two swords of power were dwindling away. It was awful.

Exhausted I went to bed that night, praying and calling out to the universe to help me. I felt like a wounded warrior, raw and vulnerable. I had no answers as I wondered if this was how it was meant to end. I could only hope I was not yet defeated, and I wasn’t.

January 12th, I woke up rested and to a much clearer head that was able to prioritize the overbearing weight of everything. Surprisingly the day past that was so hard for me, seemed so far away. I felt transformed and everything seemed lifted. I made myself a step goal to get moving, and started exercising through the pain. I got past the fear of my heart weakness from the symptoms I was showing and told myself that there is no better time then now. I’m eating healthy and I’m determined. Physically, I am getting better and yesterday I walked 3819 steps. That might not be a big deal, but it was for me. That’s how bad things had gotten.

Depression and anxiety is real and this has been a scary time for me. I can’t remember last when I had to fight this much to earn my place here. Just to manage the basics. It’s been a tough road full of challenges and I know that some are not so lucky as I am. It’s easy to give up and it’s always harder to fight. January 11th will stand out in my memory as one of my toughest days, but also as one that forced a choice and the believe that the darkness doesn’t last forever. Ask for help and let it go. Don’t be afraid to confide in your loved ones and the universe to support you and always know you don’t have to carry it all by yourself. It can be a very dark and lonely place, but hope and faith is real as well.

Wishing you bright days filled with light and minimum darkness. Stay the course, believe and find something to hold on to. Bless you. ♥️

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Inspiration

Inner Peace

Picture taken from Pinterest

It was just today that another comment came through to one of my posts I have written in Dezember. It was a post about anxiety, a post that has become one of my more popular posts. So what is that say?

It spoke directly to my heart, as I have felt a lot of anxiety within the last year. And I can usually deal with stress pretty good, but not this time, and life dialed my number in a big way. I felt hopelessly lost in darkness and loss, a depression that’s dangerous, and a anxiety that threatened to choke the life right out of me. In the middle of circumstances out of my hand, feeling hopeless and for the most part alone.

We don’t usually like to talk about those things, do we? I felt it relevant of having to revisit this topic in the hopes to shed light. So why do we keep it all hush hush under the rug? Are we afraid to be viewed as damaged, maybe we would lose our spot in society that we fought so hard for achieving. What about our reputation, would we dare to let someone see our true self?

Your responses told me how many others are out there that are dealing with anxiety every day in the hopes of finding their way. There is a need, a yearning for something to hold onto, whatever that might be. I hope to help and add to that something. There is a beautiful dream we all dream and that is to achieve inner peace. But what will it take?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question, as it is different for all of us, but I can bring awareness to the subject. Anxiety and depression is real. Both involve fear as the driving force. Have you acknowledged that? What is it that you are fearful of, how can you eliminate these things from your life? Perhaps it is helplessness which was a big part of my case that is causing you stress.

My best advice to you is to listen to yourself, your heart and your body. Listen to your soul, it already knows the way and everything happens for a reason. Even the real shitty stuff, and chances are you will come out a better person if you can stay the course. You will be wise and full of enlightenment, a warrior and force to be reckoned with.

Don’t be apologetic for taking time for yourself and missing out on prior commitments. No excuses and lies. You are worth it and you are enough.

Stop trying so hard to please everybody around you. The right people, your tribe will love you for who you are and wouldn’t want to change a thing about you.

Forgive yourself often, nobody is perfect. Live and learn and move on. Don’t look back, you are not going there and the past has seldom anything new to say.

  • Love with your heart wide open and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Somebody can only hurt you if you allow them to. Shame on them if they take advantage of you. But that is really none of your concern is it now, and you don’t need to get hung up about it. Let it roll off, no need to judge or avenge. Karma will have a way by itself. Knowing that, do you think you could ever get to a point feeling sorry for the person who has just hurt you? Sometimes it’s not because they deserve your forgiveness, but because you deserve freedom and peace of mind.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff? Choose your battles. Will it matter next week?
  • Anger…let it go. Tell me your greatest successes about anger. Where has it ever gotten you? Have you told somebody off and won a fight? And now what????
  • Practice compassion for the next person and always put yourself into their shoes. How can make their day brighter? Pay it forward and it will return back to you.
  • Stay positive and believe in the silver lining.
  • Those are some of the things I have learned in the past and who serve me well. Yet anxiety and depression don’t care, and haven’t stopped knocking on my door. Soon or later, we will all go through a rough patch. It’s serious and dangerous, but you can do it. The darkness is not forever and one day can mean all the difference. It did for me, and I wish you the best of luck. Keep fighting and stay strong. You are never alone and I root for you with all my heart. You got this. 🦋❤️
  • Posted in Anxiety, Life

    As time closes in

    The anxiety crept in again and no matter how hard I try I can’t help it. Time is closing in with only days left until I leave. What a crazy bittersweet feeling. A true love-hate affair. I haven’t packed, a few things are left to do and then there is the house, Mom’s castle and getting it ready to be uninhabited. It should be easy enough to flip the power switch to cut all electricity, but there are also pipes that need to be drained of all water so they don’t freeze without the house being heated. I should do it the day before Christmas Eve as I want to spend as much time as possible with Mom, but then it means I can no longer stay in the house.

    I have asked Mom a few times now if she wants to go to church on Christmas Eve and she hasn’t fully committed. Everything is up in the air. A few goodbyes need to be said, but no plans have been finalized. All I know is that I can’t wait until the last minute and some feelings might get hurt. These moments belong to Mom whether she wants them or not.

    We hit another wall today with the iPad. One thing led to another and pretty soon the ugly face of the same fight raised its ugly head once more. You see it was never a matter of being worried that she can’t learn how to operate it (she is doing fine with it) but a matter of whether she will use the iPad to talk to me. Everything was fine without it before she thinks, but things have changed she does not want to acknowledge. Her reality about the care home is still out of whack and in her mind I am still to blame that she is there. She does not want to stay there and she doesn’t realize that she can’t get out alone. What she hears is that this is up to her and me. Further there is nothing wrong with her she thinks, which automatically places all blame on me. I must be the one that makes it impossible for her to get home and my Dad would be so disappointed and would never tolerate it if he was alive she says. I will have to wait and see, and can only take one day at a time. While there are many cant’s, there are also many can’s and I’m focused on what I can impact and influence, and leave what I can’t. Easier said then done, and sometimes it works and others it doesn’t. What I do realize, no matter how unfair things seem sometime, is that Mom’s reaction are ruled by fear. The fear of me leaving, the fear of being alone again, of having lost control of her life and the fear of her life which changed from everything she once knew.

    I went to bed before 9PM to just rest last night. I took a few aspirins for my troubled heart that gave me much pressure and freight, and just laid down. I focused on my breathing and on staying calm. There is no doubt that the stresses of the year passed has further negatively affected my health. From an active and movement point of view to other reasons, and here too…I am trying to do the best I can. I have to get through it and it’s nothing anyone can do for me.

    This evening I will enjoy a German Christmas market and distract my mind while getting some exercise. It is freezing outside, but there is always Glühwein and I’m looking forward to that and taking some pictures.

    Posted in Anxiety, Inspiration

    Anxiety

    I lied and said I was busy.

    I was busy; but not in a way most people understand.

    I was busy taking deeper breaths.

    I was busy silencing irrational thoughts.

    I was busy calming a racing heart.

    I was busy telling myself I am okay.

    Sometimes, this is my busy, and I will not apologize for it.

    B. Oakman / Anxiety doesn’t knock first